INTRO: Intro about the minor prophets
There are 12 books that have been given this title of “Minor Prophets”
These 12 books cover a period of roughly 400 years.
They are primarily dealing with the judgment of God on Israel.
These books are not listed in the Bible in chronological order.
But as we take our steps through them, I would like to walk through them in order of chronology.
So, in these coming weeks, join me on this journey…
Walking with Giants!
EXPLANATION: As we begin our walk through the giants of the minor prophets, chronologically it begins with the book of Jonah.
Somewhere around 798 BC, Jonah gave his prophecy concerning the nation of Nineveh.
He preached his 8 word message, “Yet 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown” and with that, an entire nation turned from their wickedness to God.
We won’t spend our time in Jonah today, because we walked verse by verse through it.
But Jonah is our first Minor Prophet chronologically
One of the contemporaries of Jonah was a farmer named Amos.
He too recorded a book discussing the judgment of Israel.
On Wednesday nights we are walking through the story of Amos, and hearing his prophecy of the Day of the Lord that is coming.
The third minor prophet chronologically, is where we will begin our journey together this morning… It is the book of Hosea.
Hosea’s recorded ministry covers a period of around 50-70 years, ending in 710 BC.
We know this based on the timeline given to us in Hosea 1:1
Hosea 1:1 KJV 1900
The word of the Lord that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
It is one of the longest, if not the longest prophetic tenures recorded in the Scriptures.
His contemporaries were Jonah, Amos, Isaiah, and Micah.
In the mid 900’s, Israel had divided into the northern and southern kingdom shortly after the death of Solomon… the Northern kingdom was home to 10 tribes of Israel, while the southern kingdom housed the two other tribes, Judah and Benjamin.
Jonah, Amos, and Hosea were primarily dealing with the northern kingdom, while Micah and Isaiah primarily dealt with the southern kingdom.
And from the beginning of the northern kingdom they had never had a king that led them toward the Lord.
Wickedness and idol worship was supreme throughout the years of the northern kingdom.
The story of Hosea takes a dramatic turn in Hosea 1:2, when God instructs him to marry a woman whom God knew would be unfaithful to him.
Hosea 1:2 KJV 1900
The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.
ILLUSTRATION: Can you imagine what must have gone through Hosea’s mind when he heard this command from God?
To marry someone who he knew would be unfaithful to him.
Hosea was probably a fairly young man at this point.
He had dreams of a family and a happy life together.
Hosea had a mom and a dad
Hosea had friends
Yet God is telling him to go and marry a woman who he knew would break his heart!
Some people get married thinking they can change their spouse… and that never works.
But Hosea didn’t even have a hope of that… God told him from the beginning what he would be getting into!
EXPLANATION: Hosea’s entire life was to become an illustration of God’s relationship with Israel
In the first 3 chapters the experience plays out in Hosea’s life.
Then in chapters 4-14, God deals with Israel’s breaking of their covenant relationship with Him and ultimately the grace that God would bring through the preaching of Hosea.
In obedience to God’s command, Hosea marries a woman named Gomer.


EXPLANATION: Shortly after their marriage, Gomer bears a son to Hosea
Hosea 1:3 KJV 1900
So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son.
Then God names their child for them: Hosea 1:4
Hosea 1:4 KJV 1900
And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
Jezreel is a valley between Galilee and Samaria
It actually served as one of the capitols of the northern kingdom
It spills into the valley of the Hill of Magedo… or better known as the valley of Armageddon.
It was a place of much violence in Israel’s history.
It would be the location of Naboth’s vineyard.
You’ll remember that Ahab wanted Naboth’s vineyard and when Naboth refused to give it to him, Jezebel had Naboth murdered.
It was the place where Jehu killed Joram, Jezebel, and Ahab’s supporters.
It was the scene of the battles fought by Deborah in Judges 4-5 and by Gideon in Judges 6-7.
It will be the place of the battle of Armageddon
It was a picture that God was saying, “I’m done… and judgment is coming.”
Hosea 1:5 KJV 1900
And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel.
God was saying He would break the defenses… the army of the northern kingdom.
And in 733 AD that is exactly what happened when Assyria fought it’s way into the valley of Jezreel and ended the Northern Kingdom.
Then Gomer conceives again and this time has a little girl, Hosea 1:6
Hosea 1:6 KJV 1900
And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.
Lo-ruhamah - Not loved or Not pitied.
Many believe that this second child was not even one of Hosea’s children.
The adultery may have already begun.
With Jezreel, God says, “I’m done… Judgment is coming.”
With the second child, God is saying, “I’m done showing compassion and mercy.”
“You’ve experienced my love… but you’ve crossed the line.”
From the foundation of the Northern Kingdom at the latter part of the 9th century BC until it’s end at the end of the 7th century BC, God had given mercy to this rebellious nation.
For almost 200 years God had spared them from total destruction.
That’s like going back to the 1820’s until now!
But the time had come in which God was saying, “enough is enough!”
You’ve experienced my mercy and my love being extended… but no more.
And then there was a third child, Lo-ammi - Not my people
Hosea 1:9 KJV 1900
Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.
Once again, there is question if this child was a child of Hosea.
God once again emphasizes, “I’m done”
We spoke a few weeks ago of the covenant God had made with Moses and Israel in Deuteronomy of how blessings would follow when they stayed faithful to Him.
But if they turned away from God, curses would follow.
A removal from the blessing of God on Israel was the consequence of their actions.
They had chosen not to make God their God… and so God says, “If that is what you want, that is what you will get.”
“I’m done”
Through this very real family, God was giving a visual illustration to the people of Israel.
When someone would question why Hosea would name his son, Jezreel, or to Lo-ruhamah : Not loved, or to Lo-ammi : Not my people, Isaiah would turn the message to the people of Israel and their relationship with God.


EXPLANATION: Then in chapter 2, it begins with the tragic cry from Hosea
Hosea 2:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Say ye unto your brethren, Ammi; And to your sisters, Ru-hamah. 2 Plead with your mother, plead: For she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: Let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, And her adulteries from between her breasts;
Hosea is asking his children to plead with their mother to return from her life of harlotry.
She had left him for other meaningless relationships.
Relationships that would only lead to emptiness.
Relationships that would destroy her.
Hosea 2:13 KJV 1900
13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, And she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, And she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.
She had turned away from Hosea… She had turned away from the Lord…
That is the picture that Hosea would later preach to Israel in Hosea 4:6
Hosea 4:6 KJV 1900
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
The knowledge they were lacking goes beyond just a head knowledge of the Scriptures.
They had rejected seeking to truly know the God of the Scriptures.
He deals further with this reality in Hosea 6:6-7
Hosea 6:6–7 KJV 1900
6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. 7 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: There have they dealt treacherously against me.
It was a surface relationship in which Jehovah was One of the God’s that they served… but they didn’t truly know Him.
He may have been the God of their great grandparents.
He may have been the God of Abraham and Isaac
He may have been the God of Moses.
But He wasn’t their God.
They didn’t know Him.
Chapter 2 is a sad story of Gomer seeking to find love “in all the wrong places”
Believing that she would find fulfillment outside of her husband.
Hosea 2:5 KJV 1900
5 For their mother hath played the harlot: She that conceived them hath done shamefully: For she said, I will go after my lovers, That give me my bread and my water, My wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.
She was leaving the one that loved her, seeking for that same love in other places she could never find it!
APPLICATION: One of the tragedies of our world today is that the church has done the same thing in their relationship to God!
We can point the finger at Israel and and Gomer and criticize all we want.
But the truth is, most of the church has gone looking to fill that God sized relationship hole in their life with countless numbers of things.
ILLUSTRATION: We often hear the story of the prodigal son who left his father and went into a far country and wasted his life with riotous living.
We look around the church for the ones who aren’t in the seats anymore and declare that those are the prodigals.
The ones who are wasting their lives away from the Father!
But here is the scary part… we forget the other half of that story!
Luke 15:11–12 KJV 1900
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
When the father divided the inheritance, he didn’t just give to the son that left… he gave it to the one that stayed.
When the prodigal son returned home, it was the older son that refused to come into the house
It was the older son who accused his dad of never giving him anything
It was the older son who was in the right place geographically, but his heart was far from his father.
And it was the older son, who when the chapter came to a close, still didn’t have a relationship with the father.
APPLICATION: Yes, the one who leaves and goes to a far country and wastes their life is a tragic story.
But could it be that some of the most tragic stories could be told of the ones who are right where they should be geographically, but their heart is a million miles from the Father!
You are leaving the One that loves you and seeking to find that fulfillment in a million other places.
One of the greatest dangers in the day that we live in, is that there is no lack of opportunity to amuse ourselves!
We are constantly bombarded with distractions in our life… you carry one in your hand and in your pocket everyday!
We’ve become so distracted that we have wasted our lives right where we are!
We are too busy to have a relationship with the One Who gave everything for us!
And just like Gomer, we have sold our heart to whatever distracts us at the moment!


EXPLANATION: But then we come to the most beautiful part of the story.
In v.1, God tells Hosea to buy back Gomer from the life of harlotry and slavery she had gone to.
Hosea 3:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Then said the Lord unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine. 2 So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:
Hosea, because of his love for Gomer and the instruction of God, finds his way to the slave auction where he catches the eye of the woman who had left him for other loves
The woman who had rejected him
The woman who had turned her back on him in the most painful way possible.
Gomer sees him.
We can only imagine what must have been going through her mind.
“After all that I have done to him, he will want nothing to do with me.”
And Hosea walks over to the slave keeper and exchanges some money and agrees upon a trade for some barley.
Then he stretches his hand out and points to that woman who had caused this broken situation because of sin.
And he goes to her and says, Hosea 3:3
Hosea 3:3 KJV 1900
3 And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.
He says, “You are mine and I am yours.”
Even after everything… “I still love you”
And then we are given a glorious prophecy about Isreal, Hosea 3:4-5
Hosea 3:4–5 KJV 1900
4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.
Hundreds of years would pass in which Isreal would be looking for fulfillment all over and remain empty.
But one day… everything would change!
Hosea 10:12–13 KJV 1900
12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground: For it is time to seek the Lord, Till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 13 Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; Ye have eaten the fruit of lies: Because thou didst trust in thy way, In the multitude of thy mighty men.
Hosea 13:4–5 KJV 1900
4 Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, And thou shalt know no god but me: For there is no saviour beside me. 5 I did know thee in the wilderness, In the land of great drought.
Hosea 13:14 KJV 1900
14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: Repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
Hosea 14:4 KJV 1900
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: For mine anger is turned away from him.
There was coming a day, in which God would show them just how much He loved them when He sent a new King!
They may not understand it at first, but one day, Israel will realize that the One that truly loves them has been there all along!
No He will not accept their sinful decisions.
But when they turn to Him, He will heal their backsliding and love them freely!


APPLICATION: Friend, God loves you where you are!
But just because He loves you doesn’t mean that He approves of your sinful decisions.
He doesn’t approve of your love being divided all over the place.
He’s not looking for a weekend relationship where you come visit with Him for a few hours on Sunday!
God wants you to KNOW Him!
Not just about Him… He wants you to truly know Him!
Matthew 5:6 KJV 1900
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Friend, if I asked you if you knew for sure you were going to heaven, what would you say?
When Hosea saw Gomer, he paid to buy her back… to redeem her!
But what if she had said, no thanks?
Jesus has already paid for your sin!
But you must choose to accept that redemption!
Where is your heart this morning?
You can be in the right place geographically… but have an adulterous heart!
The truth is we all stray and one point or another.
God doesn’t want to be one of the things on your list… He wants to be your list!
If you have been straying from Him this morning, why not return to Him today!
Even when Gomer was pursuing love everywhere else, Hosea never stopped pursuing her.
And friend, no matter where you are today, I want you to know, God has never stopped pursuing you!
So stop looking everywhere else, and turn to a real relationship with Jesus!
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